Last modified: 2008-09-27 by dov gutterman
Keywords: bosnia and herzegovina | croatia | croatian party of rights | hsp | croatian defence forces | hos |
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image by eljko Heimer
The image above is representation of the flag of HSP, as seen
used by some (para?)military unit in Bosnia and Herzegovina in
early 1990's. I would guess that the white bend was inscribed
with letters HSP and possibly there was some symbol (wattle or
other ornament) over the shield, but since the flag was most
probably home made it might be that it was somewhat simplified
and not following the HSP customs to the last.
Anyway, HSP (Hrvatska Stranka Prava, the Croatian Party of Rights) is a right wing party (right here and 'rights' in the name have no connection, though) follower of the party of the same name founded in 19th century being the oldest Croatian political party (established 1861). It was renewed around 1990, both in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina (also there were several parties, or fractions, which claimed the name and herittage, but this is of no great importance for the issue). Soon after the begining of the war in Croatia, and later in Bosnia and Herzegovina, organized military units to fight as protection against aggression, and maintained good relations and included not a few Bosniaks/Muslims (when the "official" HDZ ingaged in hostilities). The HSP army was called HOS Hrvatske Obrambene Snage, Croatian Defence Forces). However, it is also believed that some units (or members) of HOS might be responsible for certain war crimes.
As the Croatian state evolved from the first days, the HOS units were eventually disbanded or integrated in the croatian Army. Similarly, but more slowly the same was done in Bosnia and Herzegovina (where they were integrated in the Croatian Council of Defence, HVO, and finally in the Federal Army).
The HSP uses the Croatian tricolour with the party emblem in the middle - shield divided per bend, chequy and blue with white bend bearing the initials of the party, and above the shield a tripple-wattle ornament. Several fractions and other parties claiming the same name (or similar one, adding differenciating attribute) use similar flags with minor differences.
. eljko Heimer, 2 March 1999
image by eljko Heimer
The flag was used with some variations, most notably with
larger symbol and without the circular wreath. HOS was military
organization of Croatian Party of Rights (HSP), whose flag was
also used (tricolour with shield tierced per bend sinistre chequy
red-white, white with golden initials HSP and blue). The
(para)military organization was active both in Croatian and
B&H at the begining of the war, but latter was disbanded,
some of the units included in the regular army.
The HOS used a black flag with the emblem in the middle, with
a circle of tripple-wattle within which is a chequy shield (with
white first square) over a four-sided blue-white triple wattle
(similar to the one used as Ustasha symbol, on flags of the
Independent State of Croatia in World War II), above the
inscription HOS, below HSP, ZA DOM SPREMNI (motto also used in
World War II Croatian state).
eljko Heimer, 2 March 1999
I recently found some variants at the German
Ebay, amazingly tagged as "football fan flags".
Marcusv Schmöger, 15 November 2006
They are also tagged as "Ustasha" and what not,
probably to find their way more easily to the potenital customes,
all of this designations are, well, to put it mildly,
The flags are those of the para-military group "Hrvatske obrambene snage", private army of the HSP (Croatian party of rights). They were used both in Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina in early 1990's.
It is nevertheless interesting to see these real flags, although I much doubt that any of these have seen some real fighting - these flags were sold in Zagreb (and other places, I guees) at the time as souvenirs and I wouldn't be surprised if they still are occasionally.
eljko Heimer, 26 November 2006